When you are thinking of renovating your kitchen be prepared and know what to look out for when you discuss your kitchen with a Kitchen Designer, these days most people discuss there project with a couple as not everyone can get a recommendation from a friend who has dealt with one in the past, but if you can, then speak to them first but also contact some others, such as ourselves, we are happy to come over, discuss your new “Kitchen”, show you a Design developed on your needs and what was discussed with you and submit a Competitive quotation, we recommend you go with the company that knows what they are talking about when it comes to renovating and not just trying to sell you a kitchen based on a cheap price although cost is a major factor and a good Kitchen Designer will do there best to work within a budget, remember there is a lot more involved than just pulling out the old and putting in the new, careful consideration has to be applied to every new kitchen or you will end up not being happy, and worse getting something you don’t want, the more helpful the Designer the more chance you will get what you expect, and after all if you don’t know someone then follow the professional who has an understanding of what is required
We have done all types of kitchen renovations and have come up with a list of tips for you to look out for when you are sitting down and discussing your new kitchen.
Space, make sure there is enough room to move around your new kitchen layout, it’s better to discuss it on paper than at the finish, so speak up and ask questions, it will depend on the space available, I alway try to achieve 1m+ between wall cupboards and the island if there is to be an island, look out for how the Designer thinks and discusses your needs onsite, traffic flow, position of appliances and utilities.
Make sure there is enough space on either side of the sink, a must in any kitchen as this is the most used area and make sure the Dishwasher is as close as possible to this area, you want to rinse and put your utensils and crockery into it without having to turn around and walk to the other end of the kitchen, I know this is an exageration but you understand my meaning, you want it in easy reach.
Appliances, make sure the positions works for you as well as the surrounding space and make sure if you have new appliances you have all relevant information on hand to give to your Designer so that when he is working on your layout he has your appliance heights, widths and depths, if you haven’t selected your new pieces that’s alright as well as a good Designer can work around that, you just need to explain what you are wanting, call it your bucket list.
Discuss the finishes carefully as well as the material selections, these days you can get Eco friendly carcase material called E zero Melamine, which means it has very low formaldehyde emitting properties you will also want your kitchen made using a combination of MR and HMR board for the carcases as well as the bases for your faces, i.e. door and drawer faces, MR stands for Moisture Resitance and HMR stands for High Moisture Resistance, a must for any new kitchen, your sink cabinet should be made using HMR melamine.
A good selection of finishes is also a must, but generally these days most kitchens are finished using polyurethane, we use Satin as our prime finish level which is a nice cross between a very low sheen and a high gloss look, having said that, I’ve had clients who prefer the very low sheen finish, Veneers can look good but make the Kitchen a lot more expensive and you still have the cost of the Polyurethane only in a clear coat, they can look fabulous though, and if you like the look of timber there is a wide selection of man made veneer patterns these days, it is something to think about as the results can be worth the extra cost in some situations, but not all, sometimes a combination works well and doesn’t blow the budget, post formed laminate or melamine faces can also work to achieve a good result for a budget price.
Benchtop materials are wide and varied these days and now with the introduction of man made Stones, along with there acceptance and wider use, more companies have opened up offering a wider variety and with competition prices become reasonable and affordable compared to the finished look of other materials, you can use stone at a reasonable level if you leave the thickness to it’s minimum of 20mm but most prefer 40mm plus. Laminate is a good finish for a reasonable price and can be used to great effect with a smaller budget. the most common materials used are man made stone, laminate, stainless steel and granite although we haven’t had much call for this in a long time and stainless steel is an expensive excercise but can be very effective as a kitchen look but not many companies make kitchen benchtops these days as stone has taken over as the preferred material because of there wide selection.
Splashback choices are varied from traditional tiles “and there are so many great looking tiles on the market today” to glass, Glass is the new medium because you can match your kitchen colour or contrast it by using any selected colour, but that’s not to say other materials don’t have a place, it all depends on the kitchen Design and what you the Client are hoping to achieve, for instance, stainless steel can look great as a splashback but it is not easy finding companies who do this type of work at a reasonable cost compared to say Glass, my preference is glass as it is easy to clean and if using starfire glass the colour is as clear as the colour selected.
This list could go on but we have to keep a few of our secrets, just remember to ask as many questions you feel relevant when you are discussing your Project and to stay within your budget by selecting appropriate materials, a good Kitchen Designer will tell you if you have gone over budget with your selection and then it’s up to you to decide and don’t be afraid to discuss your budget, you can’t get a $20k kitchen if you only have $15k to spend, it just doesn’t happen but if you tell the designer your budget he will design it within your budget using materials to create the look you are after
With the finished look, there should be symmetry in the finished Design so that it is appealing to the eye, that all appliances are in there appropriate places and that the cabinet heights work for you and most importantly you get the best result possible for the space provided
I hope this information is of help and remember we are more than happy to work with you taking you step by step through the Kitchen Design process, contact our Kitchen Designer for your free site visit, site measure, kitchen design and obligation free quotation.